Mapping the Collision Course of Sprawl and Biodiversity

February 9, 2018, 7am PST by James Brasuell
The Flame Towers, located in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The expansion of the built environment proceeds with little regard for the loss of biodiversity, and the planning field isn't doing enough to help.

Richard Weller, ASLA, shares news of a study conducted by researchers at the McHarg Center for Ecology and Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania that maps the conflict between humanities growing footprint and the planet's loss of biodiversity.

"The study, of which these maps are a part, is titled Hotspot Cities and focuses on urban growth in the world’s 36 so-called biodiversity hotspots – large regions where unique flora and fauna is threatened with extinction," explains Weller.  

"The study also zooms in on 33 of the biggest and fastest growing of these hotspot cities to assess the degree of imminent conflict between growth and biodiversity," according to Weller. "The cities are Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Houston, Cape Town, Port-au-Prince, Baku, Brasilia, Santiago, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Sydney, Lagos, Rawalpindi, Mecca, Guangzhou, Esfahan, Osaka, Antananarivo, Ciudad de México, Durban, Tel Aviv, Guadalajara, Tashkent, Chengdu, Auckland, Davao, Honolulu, Perth, Jakarta, Bogotá, Guayaquil, Makassar (Ujung Padang), Colombo."

The article shares some examples of these hotspot maps, along with a startling conclusion about the lack of long range planning to address and mitigate the loss of biodiversity in most of the world's sprawling places.

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Published on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 in ASLA The Dirt